Published in 1975, this book was a report to the Energy Policy Project of the Ford Foundation.

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Forward to Energy and Agriculture in the Third World

In December 1971 the Trustees of the Ford Foundation authorized the organization of the Energy Policy Project. In subsequent decisions the Trustees have approved supporting appropriations to a total of $4 million, which is being spent over a three-year period for a series of studies and reports by responsible authorities in a wide range of fields. The Project Director is S. David Freeman, and the Project has had the continuing advice of a distinguished Advisory Board chaired by Gilbert White.

This analysis of “Energy and Agriculture in the Third World” is one of the results of the Project. As Mr. Freeman explains in his Preface, neither the Foundation nor the Project presumes to judge the specific conclusions and recommendations of the author who prepared this volume. We do commend this report to the public as a serious and responsible analysis which has been subjected to review by a number of qualified readers.

This study is rather different from others in the Project, in that it deals primarily with the problems and prospects of the developing countries. Its message is directed toward development planners and public administrators in the developing countries, and to virtually all donor agencies-including this Foundation-whose development assistance programs have yet to give adequate attention to the relationships between effective agricultural development and energy use. The new realities of the world energy situation make these relationships distressingly critical for the present and future, and all of us in this business must give immediate attention to their implications for development programs.

Because of the importance of this subject, and the uniqueness of the perspective of the author, I fully support the Project Director’s decision to publish this study and give it full exposure as soon as possible. However, as many of our independent reviewers have reminded us, the relationship between energy and agriculture in developing countries is a large and complex subject, where data are scarce, technologies are in a state of rapid development, and social, political, and economic difficulties have a way of appearing where least expected. Neither the Foundation nor the author would claim that this study is more than a preliminary investigation of the subject, which will raise as many questions as it answers. If it is successful in stimulating active thought and good research on the questions it raises, it will have served the basic objective of the Energy Policy Project. In this spirit, I commend this analysis to the attention of those concerned with energy policy as it affects the less-developed countries.

McGeorge Bundy
President, Ford Foundation